Last-minute victory for Hitmen

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

The Battle of Alberta has been a lopsided one.

It doesn't seem to matter which team is on the ice.

The Flames have beaten the Oilers in all three meeting this season.

And after last night's 3-2 victory at the Saddledome, the Hitmen are a perfect 4-0 against the northern rivals.

Hitmen defenceman Matt MacKenzie, who assisted on the tying goal with 1:34 remaining, said the Hitmen just seem to have the Oil Kings' number.

"We've had it for the past two years," MacKenzie said of his club's 15-3 lifetime record against Edmonton. "They come out every game and work hard, so they're a tough opponent. We have to make sure we're ready every time we play them."

Brandon Kozun, Joel Broda and Michael Stone, with 49.2 seconds left in regulation time, scored for the Hitmen (14-5-0) while Rhett Rachinski and Michael St. Croix replied for the visitors.

The Hitmen didn't look like they were ready for the first 58 minutes.

But MacKenzie took a slapper with a broken stick that deflected off Broda and in to tie it in the late going.

Stone won it when he walked the line and sent a knuckler past Calgary product Cam Lanigan, who was solid between the pipes for the Oil Kings.

"It was kind of a knuckler," Stone said. "I just got it on net and I don't know if he saw it.

"But I'll take it."

Kozun also had a pair of assists for the Hitmen, who host the Everett Silvertips tomorrow night (7 p.m. at the Dome, Fan 960).

Martin Jones made 20 stops for his eighth win of the season. Lanigan faced 30 shots and fell to 3-2-1.

Kozun extended his league-high scoring streak to a dozen games with his 10th of the season 2:28 after the opening faceoff.

The Los Angeles Kings prospect deflected Stone's shot, picked up the rebound, skated behind the net and scored on the wraparound.

Twenty seconds after stepping out of the penalty box, Rachinski walked out from the corner and placed a nice backhander over Jones' glove to tie the game late in the period. The visitors took the lead three minutes into the middle frame.

Adrian Van de Mosselaer's shot pinballed off T.J. Foster and landed on the stick of St. Croix, who was staring at an empty cage.

The goal energized the Oil Kings, who outshot the Hitmen 7-2 through the first 10 minutes of the period.

Rookie Hitmen blueliner Ben Wilson kept the damage to a minimum with a great diving pokecheck to take a breakaway from Dylan Wruck.

The home side had a few opportunities to draw even late in the period, but Mackenzie Royer fired wide on a breakaway and Stone's floater from the blueline clanked off the iron.

SCOTT.FISHER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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